Copyrights – No Big Deal?

One of the biggest problems the advent of technology and the fully-integrated, networked and inter-linked world has created is a tremendous misunderstanding of copyright laws. Through simple “Select All > Copy > Paste” functions, the bodies of work created by one person become the un-paid-for expressions of another. To some, this cavalier use of intellectual property is no big deal. After all, they figure, if you’re putting it out on the web, you must be okay with it being used, right? Wrong.

Photography, especially, has fallen severe victim to this dilemma. Most photographers want to be able to put their work on their online portfolio for all to see without the distraction of watermarks or logos branded into the image. Right-click disabling software is not effective either as those who know how can easily bypass such measures. But it is not the photographs or the method of acquiring them that are the real problem in today’s technologically evolved world – it is the mindset of the general populace that is to blame.

The ease of capturing and re-using digital images or text has fostered a general impression in our society that it’s simply okay to do so. As professional photographers, we have seen this in so many different areas over the years. We have had people see a photo of ours on Facebook that they like and state publicly that they are printing it out and blowing it up for their walls with never a thought of compensation to the owner of the photo (us). We have had commercial clients balk at the “Usage Rights” fee in our commercial contracts because they don’t understand that they are not purchasing a photo – they are purchasing the rights to USE that photo. It becomes difficult sometimes to explain that this is not a new concept. Usage rights have been around since the birth of copyright law.

Perhaps the worst offense we have endured, though, is the taking of photos from our public profiles for use in news publications – either digital or print. You would think that a news organization, in particular, would understand the value of copyright. Surprisingly, some do not. Perhaps the cause of this is the very sneaky brainchild of organizations like CNN who, several years ago, realized they could get their news photography for free by simply offering photo credit to the photographer. Suddenly, every Joe and Jane with a camera who just wanted to see their name in print was offering up all their photos to the news outlets for nothing. As a result, some news organizations now expect you to provide photography for free.

I am aware how much of a rant all of this must sound like. Maybe even a bit whiny. I get it. But, to those of us whose income relies heavily on our craft, it is no small matter. Architects get paid. Caterers get paid. Seamstresses get paid. Photographers have every right to expect the same. So the next time you see something really wonderful and you have the urge to press that right-side mouse button, please stop for a moment and consider what you do for a living…and ask if you would be okay with me copying and using your work for free.

About the Author: is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his nine-year-old son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.

Humanize Your Brand!

When marketing their products or services, one of the biggest mistakes many companies make is focusing their catalog or web site collateral on visual depictions of just their offerings.

Including close-up, stand-alone photos of your product is important but, if that is all you rely on, it can also lead to a very dull marketing presence. Introducing the human element into your web site, catalog and advertising material makes your offering much more dynamic and helps draw the buyer in. Potential customers more easily relate to images of the product they’re interested in shown in actual use – especially if the person in the image is someone they can relate to.

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So how do you know who your buyer will relate to? Well, this is where the phrase “target audience” comes in. Before you can start to build an effective marketing strategy, it is vital that you understand WHO you’re trying to reach and what message you’re trying to send them. Gender, age group, income…knowing the demographics that make up the majority of your client base will help you put your best foot forward when selecting models for your ad campaigns. You will never be able to avoid alienating some of your client base with your decisions but, let’s face it, conversions are your ultimate goal and the best way to do that is to reach those most likely to buy from you.

A poorly thought out ad campaign can be as damaging to your marketing efforts as no ad campaign at all so strategize, strategize, strategize.

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About the Author: is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his nine-year-old son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.

Full-time and a new direction!

Well, it’s been a long time coming but 603 Media Group is finally a full-time venture. Scary, exciting, busy, nail-biting…these are all words that have been at the forefront of our minds for the past few weeks. How will the business fare? Can we develop a client base that will not only sustain us but help our business grow? Where will the community events we routinely cover for free fit into our new business model? Questions, questions, questions!

From the moment we filed our tradename paperwork with the State back in 2009, we knew we had a really great idea. Unfortunately, like all “great” ideas, it took time and failure to help morph that original thought process into a linear plan that makes sense. Now, over two and a half years later, we are finally beginning to feel like we know who we are.

The photographic services that we had originally planned on being the bread and butter of our service offerings have been reduced to an ancillary service. Truth is, the mass flooding of the marketplace with inexpensive camera technology and digital imaging software has turned everybody and their sister into a “photographer”. We had to recognize that the market just wasn’t going to pay the old prices for the services that we perform even though we perform them better than most. This was a tough realization for us to make. To compensate for that loss of potential revenue, we have altered our business model to focus more on marketing, design and social media services – all offerings that companies are still actively seeking and actively budgeting for.

With a new web presence, expanded social media activity thanks to our new Twitter and Google+ accounts, and a growing list of satisfied clients who are utilizing our new expanse of services, we are proudly surging forward in our quest to build this business into something truly special. Our involvement in community events will not dwindle in any way – we remain committed to staying involved in the amazing activities and charity events that happen in this great state.

Thank you to all of our loyal clients, family and friends who have stuck by us over the last couple years – we look forward to being your media services provider for many more years to come!